Hi there,

Many thanks to Bob for asking for information
about the upcoming warm months and how to protect
our cats from the potential dangers associated
with gardening and yard care.

It's a pretty large topic, so I'll put bite-size
portions of information into each issue. I'll also need
some time to do the research!

To get started, now is the time to mention that
March 18 - 24 is National Poison Prevention Week
in the U.S. The ASPCA (American Society for the
Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) has joined with
the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to
educate the public in ways to protect their pets
and their children.

I'm sure the EPA will be promoting the campaign to
protect the kids, and the ASPCA will focus on how
to keep pets safe.

And, since this is a cat newsletter, I will give
you some tips to share with your friends and family
to keep everyone's cats safe.

These may be obvious, but bear mentioning anyway:

1. Keep all chemicals away from your cats' eating and
drinking areas. Store them in safe locations, preferably
INSIDE cabinets or boxes or locations your cat cannot
get into. It may be safe to keep pesticides and cleaning
products on a high shelf in the garage to protect the kids,
but cats love high places and are quite drawn to jumping
up into them. And have you ever noticed how they seem to
be pretty good at knocking some things OFF the shelf? My
kitties think that's a fun game.

2. All toxic items should be kept in their original
containers so you can always correctly identify them.
Also, if accidental poisoning does occur, you will
need to name the substance to the doctor who treats
your cat. And it may be helpful to be able to read any
instructions on the label about what to do.

3. Just because products are sold for flea and tick
care doesn't mean it won't hurt your cat, especially
if they happen to topple a bottle of DOG flea treatment.
What is meant for a dog is usually toxic to a cat.

4. While it's well known that chemicals can be toxic,
it's also worth mentioning that other substances can
be poisonous, too. These include foods, as well as any
medications you keep in your home, and even your house
plants. I won't list very many here... that would be too long
for a newsletter... but a good rule of thumb is to keep
everything away from your cats except their own food and
their toys, and anything you know for sure is OK. Some
human foods, such as chocolate, some nuts, caffeine, and
grapes or raisins can poison a cat.

You know that old saying: If in doubt, leave it out.


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TIP OF THE MONTH
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Remember the hub-bub last year about the cocoa mulch
being sold at do-it-yourself home building centers?

Information about the mulch can be found here -
http://urbanlegends.about.com/library/bl_cocoa_mulch.htm

While it attracts dogs for the chocolate flavor, it can
affect cats, too, as they like to scratch and dig in
gardens, and cats are known for cleaning themselves by
licking themselves. They hate having dirt on their feet,
so they lick it off. This is just another good reason to
keep cats indoors or closely supervised, as you cannot
control what products your neighbors are using in their
yards. And cats don't understand fences.

I hope you never need it, but here is an important number:

ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, 24-hour hotline:
(888) 426-4435

===================================
A SMILE FOR YOU ;-)
===================================

You certainly have heard of You Tube by now. Here
is one funny video you will enjoy:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pIqhUCZgwXQ

If your computer has trouble with videos,
go here to see some very cute photos:

http://www.funnycatpix.com/

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SPECIALS
===================================

A great place to shop if you use natural products:
http://www.onlynaturalpet.com/?click=15867
(Recommended by Dr. Andrew Jones)


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Do you have any fun stories to share about your
cats? Send them in and I'll put them here in
this newsletter. (Include your name and website
if you have one, and I'll give you a "plug" for
your site. Or, anonymous is OK, too. It's
up to you.)

===================================

If you ever want to review past issues,
here is where they are stored:
http://www.ymlp.com/pubarchive.php?catsgalore

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